As someone who was born in the hustle and bustle of Manhattan but moved to Florida where everything is slow and gator-ish, this Reddit thread struck a chord.
If you're not ready for it, the culture shock between city life and country life can come at you faster than an angry bull—or a cab driver trying to make the light.
Reddit user Mission_Ambitious asked:
"Redditors that grew up/live in the city, what’s something every country kid should know?"
So to prevent all you country folk from getting scammed, murdered, or experiencing the horrors of "the empty subway car"—here's a handy little list of things you should know if you're going to spend time in a big city.
Learn it. Love it. Live it.
DO NOT GO IN THE EMPTY CAR.
Look Like You Know
"If you look like you know where you're going, you're less likely to be bothered."
"Also a lot less likely to be robbed. Walk with intent"
"Best advice in here. I never smile or anything in public either."
"Look like you know where you’re going and look pissed off and won’t no one talk to you or give a second look. Wander around smiling and aimless you’ll be a target."
The Liquor Scam
"Sidewalks are for walking. If you have to stop to check your phone to make sure you’re going the right way, step to the side."
"Also — if someone bumps into you with a bag full of liquor and drops it, it’s a scam. Keep walking — no matter what they say. The bottles are either empty or already broken."
"Dude bumps into you, drops the bag, makes a scene, and says you owe him money."
"It happened to me three times — twice with the same guy in the same week. Just kept walking every time. They’ll yell and scream but they’re not gonna run you down if there are people around."
"Plus, everyone else knows it’s the oldest scam out there."
"If you're taking the escalators, especially in or out of a train station, and plan on standing instead of walking, stand to the right."
"If you need to rush to your train, the left side of the escalators should be left clear for you to walk on."
"Also, for the love of God, when you get to the end of the escalator and need to figure out where to go GET THE F*CK OUT OF THE WAY!"
"People behind you are still moving via the mechanical stairs. They don't stop just cause you don't know which way to go."
"This goes for all people not just those from the country."
"And for the love of all things, if you are standing on a narrow escalator and a train is coming, even if it is not YOUR train, start f*cking moving!"
"The number of times I've missed a train because some able-bodied idiots wanted to treat the escalator like a f*cking amusement park ride..."
The Empty Car
"If the subway train rolls up and has an empty car, DO NOT GET ON THAT SUBWAY CAR."
"It's not empty for maintenance reasons, I promise."
"I lived in NYC and commuted on the subway for 3 years so should've known better when I visited and got on the emptiest car of a train of full cars."
"The second I got on I look right and see everyone huddled together, I look left and see a dude alone on the seats picking at his nasty ass feet. Then the smell hit me like a brick wall and the doors shut behind me."
"It was among the top 10 worst things I've ever smelled."
"When covid struck and I was still working in a far uptown ICU in Manhattan - most of the subway cars were empty at 7am for the first time I'd ever seen. I quickly got used to boarding empty subway cars and paid it no attention, had more than enough on my mind already."
"Welp April 2020 I was reading a book minding my own business, but I had not looked around the car when I boarded the train. I got that weird 'someone is looking at me' feeling and decided to take a glance around."
"Quickly realized a naked man was blowing another naked man - both staring at me, smoking a pipe, but also not stopping the oral session."
"It was an express train too, so I got stuck in the same car for 10 minutes or so. Hopped out at the next stop and had a little laugh about it."
"Don't start conversations with strangers, especially if they have headphones on. You don't need to say hi to people all the time."
"Saying 'Hello' to everyone you pass is a small town tradition that does not translate to city life. Stop it!"
"This is consistently the thing I hear from people from rural areas that was actual culture shock. In small towns you say hi to everyone you cross."
"Here, you try your best to look mean, don't talk to anyone, and for your own health, don't make eye-contact with crazies on the subway."
"Anyone I met from rural areas had already been in the city for a while so I never saw it first hand, but have heard stories of people trying to say hello to everyone and being completely overwhelmed by the number of people. Also being dejected because they were largely ignored."
"This. People in big cities value whatever time we have to ourselves. It's polite to mind your own business."
"That said, most people are happy to help if you genuinely need directions or something."
Manners Don't Matter
"Learn how to say 'f*ck off' in the most menacing voice you have, to anyone, without shame or fear. Even if 'be polite' was drilled into you from childhood."
"Trust me, this one skill can save a lot of hassles."
"Good manners are not more important than your safety."
"Oh man. As a Texan this one hurts my soul."
"I know I should ignore panhandlers and methheads and scammers and other similar people, but it hurts."
"I was taught to be polite to everyone, and having a pleasant conversation with some random stranger is a common occurrence."
"If it helps your sensibilities, I've found that a firm 'no, thank you' usually works just as well."
"You have to get the tone just right, though – and, most importantly, don't ever break stride."
"Ah yep that attitude helped me out in Rome."
"A group of guys (10+) swarmed my wife and I near a tourist spot, and I made a bit of a scene and got aggressive in telling them to f*ck off. They did once they realized we were attracting attention."
Mind Your Business
"Mind your own business."
"Definitely don’t look at, make eye contact with , laugh at (I had an out-of-towner do this), point at, or otherwise acknowledge anyone who is acting crazy, loud or aggressive. Just mind your own business."
"I got into a fight with my partner about this!"
"Some guys were smoking something on the sidewalk and he turned to stare. The guy threatened to fight him."
"I told him he can’t do that / you can’t stare at people in the city, especially doing something borderline illegal, or we’re going to end up in some dumb fight or some nonsense."
"His small city southern ass did not understand this."
Go Before You Go
"Make sure to use the restroom before you leave (home, work, the restaurant, etc)."
"Not many places have a free to use restroom. Sometimes they force you to buy something and public restrooms are usually a place you want to avoid."
"Oh my god yes, thiiiiisssss!!!"
"As someone with a small bladder who pees frequently, being in the city can be a real pain. Convenience stores are hardly anywhere and if there is one, the restroom isn’t public!"
"I have bought so many things just to be able to relieve myself. I have to keep 'pee money' on me!"
Treat Walking Like Driving
"Your casual stroll through the city is my commute."
"Imagine if there were cars on your crowded highways just casually wandering between lanes going under the speed limit and randomly stopping to take a picture of something. It would drive you nuts!"
"That's our reality when you walk in the middle of the sidewalk, or just dead stop to check something. Just like driving, step to the side of the sidewalk if you need to stop/slow down."
"Basically if a New Yorker says 'Hey I’m walking here!!!' It’s not some haha stereotype moment. Dude actually has a point."
"I am never going to see guns the same way you do."
"I can't count on my fingers and toes the amount of classmates I had who died of gun violence before or after our graduation years."
"Seeing people with guns walking around the neighborhood isn't a securing feeling. Having bullet holes in your living room walls is not reassuring."
"Having bullets wiz past your head as you stroll around a busy shopping area isn't fun. There is no safety in seeing them."
"Experiencing all these things does NOT make me want one for my safety. Trying to explain this to my roommates who grew up in rural areas is like talking to a wall."
"Though I'm sure it's the same for them. They grew up playing with guns, they always had them around, see them on people's hips, rarely if ever met anyone to die of senseless gun violence so its null for them."
"They just can't understand the wildly different roles guns played in our cultures."
Walk It Out
"Living in the city can be healthier insofar as you walk a lot."
"Even if you take the train or bus, you have to walk to the station from your place, in all kinds of weather. Up and down stairs. Sometimes you have a destination really far from any station."
"In the suburbs/countryside, people often walk about 50 feet to their cars no matter what their destination."
"I think this is why people are so overweight these days."
- soulcaptainNew York City Walking GIF by 20th Century Fox Home EntertainmentGiphy
A Time Change
"Just because it only takes a few minutes to go a few miles down a country road, doesn't mean it only takes a few minutes to go a few miles in a city/surrounding metro area."
"Always check Google maps or Waze and then add extra time for travel if you're driving, especially during rush hour and if there's a huge event."
"It's better to leave a little early and wait a bit than to stress about being late."
- [reddit]Driving Music Video GIF by Maren MorrisGiphy
Lunch On The Steps
"I see tourists eating their lunch in Downtown Portland at the Pioneer Courthouse Square- sitting on concrete blocks and the brick stairs."
"Little do they know, those are all absolutely covered in bum piss and sh*t."
"Don't EVER touch a surface in the city without using some sort of hand sanitizer or washing your hands- it absolutely blows my mind that people find it so appetizing, yet there is vomit literally feet from them."
- westcoastpizzaratBasketball Wives Ugh GIF by VH1Giphy
If You Have To Drive
"If you have to drive, you basically need to learn how to be a bully on the road."
"You're going to have to cut people off as nobody is going to give you room to lane change. Learn to have 360-degree vision, because people will do the same to you."
"Parking sucks; learn to read the signs so you know when and where you can actually park, or if the spot is metered. Expect to park a few blocks from your destination."
"Don't keep anything of value visible in your car, this gives criminals incentive to break in and steal it."
"Watch out on major roadways during peak traffic, as homeless people will tend to flock on the road and panhandle."
"Always pay attention at traffic lights, and be prepared to put your foot on the gas as soon as the light turns green, otherwise, horns start blaring."
- draimanMad Max GIFGiphy
"I grew up in a pretty integrated neighborhood where at least a third of my neighbors were different races than me."
"Most of my relatives who lived in more rural and suburban areas had a hard time understanding that I felt like I had a lot more in common with the black kid who lived next door to me than I ever had with them."
"I figure that deep down most people from cities, regardless of race, feel the same way. And we carry that around forever."
- PunchBeardAnimated GIFGiphy
"Coming from someone who has spent a good amount of his life living in both the city and the country, learning the road system is definitely important."
"Usually living out in the country, you’ll probably only rely on one major highway that takes you to and from town."
"In the city though, it’s definitely a must to know the main highways, exits, and interstates, and important landmarks they lead to."
- bryce_craneRoad Trip Highway GIF by VICE DOES AMERICAGiphy
Locks Are A Thing For A Reason
"LOCK YOUR DOORS! All of them."
"You bring your car into the city, lock your doors. You move into the city to try out the life. Lock your house."
"I knew a couple that lived in Alabama their entire life and their truck got stolen the week they moved to Denver cause they left their keys in the truck and left it unlocked. This is a big no no."
- earthlover6312bart simpson episode 20 GIFGiphy
"Invest in a small cross-body bag (they're like fanny packs, but not meant to be worn on the waist, or just wear a fanny pack across your body)."
"Keep all your important things in it, and on the front of your body. Pants pockets are easy to steal from, not so much a zipped bag 6' under your face."
"Plus, it's a trend nowadays so you won't look very out of place."
- SeductiveSoupJimmy Fallon V GIF by The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy FallonGiphy
"There are plenty of kind, caring, and helpful people in cities."
"But being 100% trusting, talking to anyone that crosses your path, and believing every person has good intentions will get you robbed, raped, or killed."
"I get genuinely worried for Mormon missionaries and tourists from the Midwest sometimes. There's a difference between being friendly, and living in a child-like bubble of naiveté."
- skootch_ginalolaSeason 2 Good Luck GIFGiphy
You've read what Reddit has to say, now it's your turn.
What would you add to this list of things country folk need to know before embarking on a city adventure?
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Dream of the sea of lights, of the opportunities, the nightlife, and all of the things you've been dreaming of living in your adult life since you were a kid. Being in a city as an adult can afford you those opportunities.
But oftentimes the city will just afford you more expensive housing with no real way to keep up your standard and quality of life. Unless you make major budget cuts, you might often find yourself at odds with your own city, and growing to dislike it.
Sound familiar to anyone?
It certainly did to Redditor lookinsidemybrain1, who wanted to know:
"What city is overrated?"
Here were some of those answers.
"My best friend is from Philly, I'm from outside of Boston. We both met in Florida when we were teens and bonded over being the only two people who were hockey fans in the mid 80s."
"In 2010 we had a bet for the Flyers/Bruins series. Loser would have to pay for a trip to the winner's city to watch a game in their barn."
"Obviously the Bruins choked away that 3-0 lead and lost the series. So I had to pony up for the trip. My boy tells me he'd rather go to Boston and catch a game there and see the city."
"I said ok but the bet was going to the winner's city and I've never been to Philly. He says 'You don't want to go to Philly, it sucks...even I don't want to go there.' So we went to Boston and had a great time."-sebrebc
The Capital In A Few Ways
"I used to work an ambulance in Jackson, Mississippi. That city is not circling the drain. The water has drained and Jackson is stuck to the tub."
"It is a never ending cycle of poverty, corrupt city officials, fleeing businesses, and crime. Every city administration does nothing but pass blame."
"Some of the most atrocious things I have seen happened in Jackson MS, not 20 miles from my home, and I was in Afghanistan. Every shift was a shooting, an assault, an overdose, a fire standby, homeless and mental health calls."
"Many of the citizens live in absolute squalor. No businesses near them, no grocery stores, no opportunity. They can't afford cars and the public transit it is practically non-existent. You truly do not understand what poverty is until you see it."-[username deleted]
Rio De Goodbye
"Even us Brazilians don't consider going to Rio de Janeiro a good idea, unless you're sure that you know what you're doing (like going to the beaches outside of town)."
"In Brazil, the best places to visit are small towns. Big cities have crime and violence, and it's not safe to just hang around with expensive electronics."
"Brazil has thousands of small paradise places, either beaches, mountains, jungles or whatever. See, for example, Maragogi. Small towns are mostly safe, and 80% of Brazil's cities have less than 20,000 people."
"Hope you have a better experience in the next time."-rubenssm
See any place on this list you're now making a mental note to avoid?
Because Of The Car Industry, Margot
"San Jose. People come here thinking it's the silicon valley expecting to see all kinds of cool advanced stuff but it's just an urban sprawl."
"I know someone who came here from Shanghai and wanted to travel to San Francisco. She asked me why we don't have high speed bullet trains that will take us to the city in like 15 mins. I didn't know what to say."-Live_Mathematician99
"I live in L.A., and every time someone comes out to visit, they want to go to Hollywood to see the touristy stuff. I don't mind indulging them, but a a huge fan of movies and old Hollywood, etc., the real thing is insanely disappointing."
"It's filthy, crowded, smelly, and chock full of shysters and violent homeless people. I totally get going for the sake of going if you're visiting the area, but there are two things you should never do: wander off the main streets or hang around late at night."
"There are a lot of crazies down there who get stabby when the sun goes down."-WickedHello
"Dubai. What most people don't see is the fact that the majority of the city are slums where people don't even have running water."
"I remember visiting my cousin who lived there and while we were at the beach, whole families would use the showers there because they didn't have their own."-Flaky_Sandwich9353
"A photo that is still vividly in my mind is of Dubai. It shows the city boarder and how there are shacks literally on the other side."
"It's insane that UAE is one of the richest counties in the world but a large chunk of their people live in poverty to the extent that their homes do not have walls and ceilings."-CaptainF*ckAll
These Actors Were Perfectly Cast In Their Roles | George Takei’s Oh MyyySometimes an actor comes along that is able to reach the audience on a deeper level. The actor that immediately comes to mind is Robin Williams. Although it ...
Let's Run Away....
"Atlantic City: A poor city with a poor population and all of its wealth coming from casinos, and casinos are depressing."-Topazz410
"I had to scroll way too far to see this. I don’t gamble so the casinos weren’t very exciting for me. The beach was pay to play and just a strip of sand with cold brown water."
"The boardwalk was good except it was the same exact merchandise in every 5th shop. We found one good restaurant and ate there daily. Left 2 days before our booking ended."-If_you_ban_me_I_win
And do you see any plans that you had on the back burner now fully making their way up?
The City Of Blues
"I've got such a great Memphis story. I've literally only been there once in my life and only for a couple of hours (aside from driving through it)."
"Over Christmas break 2004, I drove from east Tennessee to Abilene, TX to visit my sister. I drove back on New Year's Eve and at about 2:00am I got to Memphis."
"I decided I wanted to see the Mississippi River as I'd never been there before, so I pulled off the interstate and went to this very closed visitor's center on the river downtown. It's Tennessee, but it's still December, and it's cold. Maybe 40 outside."
"After using the bathroom, I walked down this path outside the visitors center that led along the river. I get maybe 100 yards down this not-illuminated path (again at 2:00am in downtown Memphis) and I notice there are these stairs that lead down toward the river. Awesome, I can see it up close! The stairs end at a tiny bank of dirt and then boom, there's the river."
"I start down these stairs and immediately realize, these are not like 'visitors, give these stairs a try' stairs. They are like 'these have been here for eight years and haven't been maintained in that time' stairs. I get about four stairs down and one of them gives way."
"In a split second, I am now sliding rapidly toward the Mississippi River in 40 degree weather with my flip phone in my pocket and absolutely no person who knows I am here and doing this. I make a mad scramble for anything I can reach for and by whatever providence, I grab a tree limb and stop the slide."
"I was able to get to my feet and realize that my shoes are wet. I was that close to ending up floating away down the Mississippi, probably drowning or freezing to death in the process. I can swim but come on."
"I regained my composure, crawled my way very, very slowly back up the bank, and got back in my car. That was arguably one of the dumbest things I've ever done in my life."-baltinerdist
A Piece Of Da Pisa
"I'm italian. I was planning a trip from the south to the north of Italy to take my car from my hometown to the city where I work, I was asking for advice about the cities to stop in for example Naples, Rome, Bologna, beautiful cities with many things to do and see."
"What about Pisa? Every single person I asked about told me to forget it. It is literally a hole with a crooked tower."
"'You look at it, take your picture and go away, but it's not worth the extra kilometers you would take for that detour.'"-FunnyPromise
No Infrastructure...Yeah, Im Good
"I think of all major American cities Los Angeles is the most overrated. It’s a cool place if you know someone who can show you around all the unique off the beaten path spots."
"But as a wandering, casual tourist who doesn’t have anyone in town you will spend a lot of time in traffic going to OK attractions."
"You're better off going to other California cities or visiting the beautiful nature the state has to offer then go to LA."-Amockdfw89
When looking for a place to live in this next stage of your life...buyer, beware. A city is only as good as it wants to be--so heed the warnings of others who have come before you.
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Although moving to a new city can be like an injection of adrenaline, it is extremely intidmidating.
When I first moved to New York by way of LA, I was terrified. I've never been to the Big Apple, ever. I also didn't know a soul who lived there.
Relying on the internet for navigation and Googling was still a concept in its infancy. I somehow managed to survive only because I threw myself fully into the situation to get acquainted with my surroundings.
One thing I learned is that fear is paralyzing and I adapted quickly because I chose to thrive in the face of anxiety.
Curious to hear opinions from strangers on the internet, Redditor cheaganvegan asked:
"People that have restarted in a new city, what are your tips?"
Tips Upon Arrival
First things first, get your bearings by becoming familiar with the new area. You can Google about the city until the cow's come home but it won't compare to physically throwing yourself into the experience of assimilation.
"I started over in a new city in 2019."
"If possible, visit the city first. I saved myself a lot of grief by visiting first and knowing the general area. If you can't visit, check out google maps."
"Find a job before you move if possible. I found a job with a chain that had a location in the new city. I didn't need to be retrained, so that was one less thing to stress about. The job was the same. I set it up so I had two weeks before I had to start so I could unpack and get settled."
"When you pack, get rid of a bunch of stuff. Have the essentials, like a change of clothes, toiletries, small appliances, and food ready to unpack the first day you arrive. You will be so tired and not want to dig for stuff. Bring a small pack of toilet paper and hand soap for the new place. Try to have at least a pot and a pan, some rubber scrapers, and plates if you can. I'd also pack blankets someplace easy to get out so you can just curl up and sleep if you need. Moving is STRESSFUL, so you want all the stuff you need easy to get to before you unpack entirely."
"LOCATE THE GROCERY STORE. Also find some local restaurants for those first few days."
"Don't forget to set up your utilities the first day. That's a must."
"Find a club if you didn't move with a buddy. Get out your first weekend and go see the sights. Get used to your new environment. The first few weeks just kinda suck, so try to get some good stuff in there. If you can, try to find a club or two or activities/hobbies before you move. Something to look forward to and one less thing to stress about."
"When you first get there, pick a landmark that's visible from most of the city or your neighborhood. A building, monument, etc. When you're learning to navigate that first month or two, that will help you. Make sure you can get home from and get to the landmark. That way, if you ever get lost, just head toward it and then you can get home. Eliminates some panic and stress. This was one of the most helpful things I did when I moved."
"EDIT: Awards, thank you! I'm glad my advice is helpful to people. Moving, even to someplace you really want to go, is stressful. Anything to make it better is great in my book!"
"Get to know your immediate neighborhood. My family and I moved last year from the US south to the PNW. I went through a period of feeling very homesick and disconnected to my surroundings. I changed my mood by really making my neighborhood my own."
"I started talking and becoming friendly with the people nearby that I come into contact with on a regular basis like my pharmacist, barista, crossing guard, etc. I get out everyday and go run in my local park and it helps me to feel connected to where I'm at. I try to look around and remind myself that this is my home. I think this all sounds goofy but it helped a lot."
"Don't get attached to the physical address of the place you call home. Get attached to smaller things inside your home - like a pillow that's has travelled around with you, or a coffee cup that you painted."
"Over the years, a reverse trend will happen which IMO is more meaningful. You will remember where you painted the cup and where you bought the pillow. So in a way you remember all the good stuff - both the address and associated events."
There's More To Explore
"I moved from one part of my city to another, about 20 miles away. Same freeways. Same major streets. But every day for the first month I took a different way to/from home. And I took note of the things I saw: places to shop, eat, drink, the nearest auto parts and tire shops, roads that seemed cyclist friendly, paths that would be nice to walk/run/hike, etc. explore!"
"I’m still discovering new things: five years later."
Changing locations is also a reflection of your metamorphosis. Finding a new you and evolving as a resident of a new city can be helpful overcoming culture shock.
Embrace The New City
"Don't try to change the city you now live in into the city you just left."
"Nobody knows you, so you can try to change some habits. I was too shy to talk to people and usually just waited for them to approach me, but when I moved I started talking to people first, it was hard but I'm glad I tried. Changed my eating habits too. Think what kind of a person you wanna be and just try it, see how close you can get."
Comfortable With Me
"The one thing that really surprised me was the fact that I didn't love the new city immediately. It was bigger than I was used to, more expensive, and the job had such higher expectations than my last, same exact job."
"It all took some getting used to, and that took longer than I thought it would. But I loved exploring little hills and out of the way parks, and one day it hit me like a ton of bricks. I was so in love with this new place; I couldn't imagine ever living anywhere else."
"Well, of course, now I do, but my love affair lasted a long time. But I think it's a place for younger people, a place to explore and find your way around the city and find yourself."
"Others have made some really good suggestions, but I think I had to be more comfortable with me before I could be comfortable in a new place."
"Try to be a yes person for the first 6-8 weeks. Any time someone asks you do do something or go somewhere (within safety and financial reason) say yes. Even if you don't really care for that activity or type of food or whatever, say yes and go. It will help you meet people outside of your immediate circle, and once you have seen people socially a couple of times, you can figure out who you are interested in spending more time with and asking them to hang out is less awkward. Just remember, every event isn't going to be the most fun you ever had. It's okay to have just a nice time, because that's laying the ground work for those really fun nights ."
Have An Open Mind
"Saying yes to things, and especially new things, is a good life philosophy in general. If you go and end up hating it, well at least you tried it and you'll know for next time. If you go and end up loving it, awesome! You found a new thing you like."
"For me, I had been having feelings of exclusion from my social group, but I realized I was kind of excluding myself by not being present or actively engaging with people. All types of relationships take work and one of the best ways to make and keep strong relationships with people is by saying yes when they invite you to do things. When you say yes to things, you're giving yourself opportunities to make memories, get cool experiences, and bond with people."
New City Culture
"Don't try to find what you had at home. Don't do what I did going from San Antonio to Seattle. In SA I was an avid Spurs fan (still am.), but nobody wanted to bond about basketball because they are still salty about the former Seattle SuperSonics turned OKC Thunder. Open yourself up to the new culture, I opened myself up to the love of Football- wasn't a Hawks fan but adored their fandom. Learned to love soccer, which wasn't a thing in San Antonio, and became a Sounders fan. Sports aside, don't try to find what you had at home. Open yourself up to the culture that your new city will bring to you."
"Another example: in Texas we thrived on being outdoors. Seattle thrived on that only 3 months of the year. The other months? I learned to love comedy clubs, theater, casinos, and more."
Tips On Relationships With New Locals
Sometimes, making friends can help make you feel less like a stranger. Just hold off on immediately dating.
"Do not start a relationship with someone who you met on tinder because you didn't want to be alone in a new city and then let the relationship spin out of control and turn out that she's kinda insane and very manipulative and then your first 9 months in London are sh*t and now a whole borough of London is ruined for you by memories of an abusive ex."
"Also, find a coffee shop you like that opens late. Nothing like getting some work done while drinking coffee on a rainy night."
Find Your Community
"try to find some kind of social group that pertains to your interests. it's easier in college, that's what i did and there were plenty to chose from. but there are often plenty of groups for non students if you look around on social media for advertising and stuff. things like volunteer work or local activist type groups can be easier options to look for."
"that's how i started making friends."
"I'm in my forth country in 13ish years. The younger you are the easier it is, especially if you can find a community. I also don't have kids so that's a huge blocker / introducer if you do."
"But basically, as above, find a group. Note almost all organised groups have more drama than you'd have thought possible, so choose wisely."
"You don't even have to stick with the organized groups long term, just harvest them for friends."
"I started with a couple board games groups when I moved to Seattle. I don't even really like board games that much, but I get along with people who do, so I stuck with the groups until I had a solid group of friends then dipped."
Go Where Everybody Will Know Your Name
"Trivia bars. Or activity night style bars. As much as you might hate it, some of them will be like 'Hey, we need a team over here. Any individuals?' and help you guys join almost like a project in school."
"Keep coming back to the bars and you'll either make friends with the team trivia members, or the people who host it/bartenders."
"Find places you like and return to it and eventually you'll meet regulars there who will recognize you."
"It's gonna take a bit of time."
A common tip from Redditors was to find your community. A sense of loneliness can be unbearable.
I moved to New York on December 23 and I stayed in a tiny studio in Midtown from a friend who happened to be visiting LA at the same time.
So, the only person I knew in the city wasn't even there to help me get my bearings. It snowed the next day on Christmas Eve. I never felt more vulnerable and alone.
But I took the opportunity to avoid succumbing to despair. I walked out in the snow and went to a coffee shop, struck up a conversation with the waitress, and established a connection with the locals.
In that moment I knew that if I can make it there – getting over my social anxieties inside a dingy old school coffee shop – I can make it anywhere.
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Moving to a larger metropolitan area may result in culture shock to those from rural parts of the country.
As someone who has only lived in major cities, I still found the move from Los Angeles to New York being quite the wake up call.
I had gotten accustomed to being stuck in gridlock traffic for most of my commutes in sunny LA. But when I got to Gotham, I loved the convenience of the MTA subway system.
However, the questionable odor while in transit is something I don't care to get used to.
I also realized the denizens of the Empire State were not rude as West Coasters maintained. Well, at least not everyone.
I had come to learn, we – speaking as a New Yorker now after living here for 20 years – are no-nonsense when in certain social interactions. We are very direct and not time wasters.
Which brings us to the subject of what city folks know over those who come small towns.
Redditor bruhcharlie asked:
"That downtown smell that smells like piss? It's piss..."
"Big cities make their own gravy when it rains."
Going The Distance
"Walking somewhere close will always be faster than going there by a car."
Where Nobody Knows Your Name
"The anonymity can be freeing."
"I walk down the street in my small town assuming everyone has contact with my parents and that it will get back to them. The mom network was a truly devastating thing when in high school."
"Having a dog will make you socialize a lot. When you're walking it, people with other dogs will stop to let your dogs sniff each other and you'll chitchat. Little children will want to pet your dog, and old people will tell you that your dog reminds them of their old dogs. Also, the probability that people stop you to ask for directions will significantly increase, I guess because they assume you live in the neighbourhood."
"Being polite and talking to everyone who talks to you will get you finessed."
"Eye contact is an invitation to talk. Smiling is an invitation to talk. People in the city aren't rude for avoiding these, they're just tired of every conversation they have with a stranger ending in them getting asked for something."
"I didn't really appreciate this sentiment when I first moved from the suburbs to the city. Any time someone would stop me for a question, I would always engage in dialogue. 99.9% of the time it was someone asking for money with some sob story about why they needed it. The first few months, I gave away all my spare change, every time (I moved to the city in October when the weather was starting to turn cooler)."
"By the time spring rolled around, I was starting to learn how to stop looking like an easy mark. I stopped making eye contact with everyone and ignored folks who were a reasonable distance away when they called out to me - pretending I couldn't hear them."
"But I'll never forget the first time I really got to that point of straight up no engagement. I was walking home from work and a woman standing right next to me said she wanted to ask me a question. I promptly shut her down with a 'Nope!' and kept walking. It was that moment that I realized, for good or bad... the city had changed me."
"I just moved from a small town on the west coast to a medium sized city on the east coast. It's crazy that you can just go out and DO things. You don't have to drive for two hours to go to the mall, you just go. I can have food delivered to my house in minutes and Amazon does next day delivery! It's awesome!! Also, cable internet is pretty sweet after having satellite for so long. One question though: what's with all of the hibachi restaurants?"
No Time For Chit Chat
"It's not that we aren't friendly, there are just so many people we can't say hello and chat with everyone or we never get to our destinations."
"I love going to small towns and just dialing my brain back 20mph and enjoying the people. Small talk, hitting yard sales, visiting small restaurants where the staff engage you."
"The suburbs/country gives you a lot of physical space and physical freedom. But no internal space or internal freedom. Everyone is up your business. HOAs, small town gossip etc"
"Big cities, you have no personal space. Everything is crowded. So the compromise is you get so much more internal space. There could be 100 people in a cafe but not a soul looks at you. Because the only space you have in the city is internal space."
"Country people think it's rude that city folk ignore people. It's not. It's a favor. It's nice."
The Healthy Route
"It is faster for me to ride my bike to work than it is to drive, and I feel healthier both physically and mentally."
"in the city it best to only shop for what you can carry anyway. typically the logisitics of loading a car with grocieries that require multiple trips to drag from where you park to your place makes it inefficient. best to shop often on way home and only buy what you can carry."
"Edit. I never did this but spoke with people who had canned and dry goods delivered and the shop only for pershiables."
"Driving 10 miles can sometimes take 60 minutes, depending on how bad the traffic is. That's why if you suggest to go to a restaurant two towns over, someone might say it's too far of a drive."
"Living in a downtown apartment isn't some kind of oppressive hell. Not everyone wants to maintain a huge house or deal with lawn-mowing bylaw requirements. Many people don't give a sh*t about gardening and just need space for their bed, desk, and computer, especially if they are single and live alone. A downtown apartment in cities like NYC or Toronto is also likely to be within walking distance to all sorts of restaurants, shops, and other services. Many people love being able to do this for exercise."
"On the same note, taking public transport is not some kind of freedom-lacking hell. It's only hell if you believe it is. Many people love the freedom of being able to read books or catch up on TV shows or play games during their commutes, instead of staring at traffic for an hour each way. Many people don't give a shit about cars and prefer not paying for maintenance, insurance, etc."
"Deciding you need a new potato peeler, some daffodil bulbs, a pizza and a can of housepaint at 3:48am, and being able to get them."
From the suburbs to the desert; the city to the plain; everywhere has its ups and its downs.
You can never get anywhere quickly in urban areas. In rural areas, you can drive for hours where there is literally nothing; for example.
The person you are dictates how you respond to these various pros and cons. Is it worth the crowding of the city? Or the dullness of the country?
Here were some of those comparisons.